Hacking A Lower Powered Foldscope

Recently, I decided to undertake a search for micrometeorites (you can read more about them here). Since a good portion of micrometeorites are ferrous, you can use a magnet to search for them. However, not all samples of ferrous particles are potential micrometeorites, so you  will have to examine them. I already have a handheld…

Comparing outdoors vs table lamp based illumination 

Here I compare outdoors afternoon light as illumination with a regular table lamp illumination; to give foldscope users a perspective on how to select light. Also; I tried an informal narration mode in the video itself. I will do more of these live narration videos to both improve my craft of telling a story on…

Nothing is sharp even if paper cuts your hand

Recently i got a paper cut in my finger while i was writing my assignment. I asked myself how is this even possible DROP ASSIGNMENT TAKES THE PAPER OPENS BOX TAKE THE FOLDSCOPE MINDBLOWN. Though it was cut highly presise by machines in the industry , its not.  I was even able to see the…

Queen Ant wings

  A few days back ,I saw ants near the door and an insect with wings that  i belive  the Queen ant (motionless). Then I saw that the wings were different there were colourless patches in some area . First time in my life I wilfully plucked a wing ,gave me chills though it was…

Video: Middle School Tech Review

Real tools lead to real work at Opportunity Middle School in Concord, NC. Using microscopes, foldscopes, and laser lens hacked cheap fire tablets, our students are opening up their world, all on their own. With only a couple of takes after stumbling over the term “microscope,” these 7th and 8th graders free-styled this video to…

Life Under The Origami Microscope : Our Early Tryst With The Foldscope

We are grateful to Professor Manu Prakash and his Foldscope team at Stanford University for sending us the set of foldscopes. In a short span of time, our SPIE Techno India Student chapter members have assembled the instrument and have started looking at various objects through the Foldscope. We are all having a really enriching…

Foldscope to visualize magnetic nano/micro particle motion

Dear all, First, I would like to thank Prof. Manu and his lab for providing us an opportunity to use Foldscope. It is a wonderful invention. Now coming to my work on Foldscope: We work on manipulating magnetic nano particle (MNP) using permanent magnets for drug delivery applications. The magnets are big and strong about…

Tails of spring – springtails!

At the BioX science day today; we setup a PrakashLab booth where everyone could come and talk to lab members. Although; things started slowly – eventually it picked up pace. During this time; Christine caught a fantastic sample which – from first glance – looked like an ant. It was alive and stuck to tape…

Butterfly Wing Structure – Transparency Edition

In the past I have posted about some of my experiences with the Foldscope in the Amazon rainforest, and more recently about investigating structural color in butterflies in the field (see here and here). I even just realized that others have made posts contributing to a butterfly scale database! For this particular trip to Ecuador,…

My housemate’s Pancake just shed…

In past housing situations I’ve been lucky to enjoy play-only relationships with dogs whose physical and health needs were otherwise met by their responsibility-laden owners. Having recently moved into a new shared rental, I’m experiencing a unique treat in that one of my housemates is a true-story Chameleon owner. Pancake is a stunning-in-teal Panther Chameleon,…

Greetings!

Greetings! My name is James Pelletier, and I am super excited to be a new explorer of the microcosmos through a Foldscope! I feel inspired by the beautiful images and questions on the Microcosmos site. I am thrilled to join the Foldscope community and learn from you. This summer, we will introduce Foldscopes to the Microbial Life class at the Children’s School of…

Protein thin films and early morning coffee 

I always start my day with a cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s a regular coffee, and on good days I get to treat myself to a latte. The one thing I enjoy in a good latte is the foam. It’s surprising that the texture of foam makes a liquid taste so different. So, I recently…

Compounding a foldscope

Here is a problem that might adorn entrance examination tests someday. It originated in a dream that I had a few days ago. I suspect this dream was inspired by the SLR hack of the foldscope. The low power lens of the foldscope can magnify objects ~140 times. The low power of a typical compound…

Plants that breathe water from the “air” 

This is not a story of “fire breathing dragons” – because they don’t exist; but alas a story of “air breathing plants” which do exist and are an incredible answer to challenges that evolution solves to explore and “enjoy” new ecological niches. An ecological niche is described as an environmental setting that an organism adapts…

Blood Smear under the Foldscope

  This past summer, together with the industrious Yash Jawale (BS-MS 2013) at IISER Pune, we began assembling the Foldscope. The high-mag and low-mag lenses were our two options that we were playing around with. Having the first device was super-exciting. However getting a reasonable image took some learning. Frame-grabs from the videos are what…

Butterfly Wings – A World of Color

I’ve had the chance to observe some interesting organisms and structures with my Foldscope thus far and my new favorite subject is the butterfly wing. Butterflies and moths belong to the order Lepidoptera and all members have scales covering their bodies and wings (in Latin, lepis means scale and ptera means wing). With over 180,000 described species,…

Wing Scales & Structural vs Pigment Color

  In the Peruvian Amazon, one can find a stunning array of butterflies along the river banks during the day. But wait, that’s no butterfly! The beautiful green Lepidoptera in the image above is actually a diurnal moth in the family Uraniidae. These moths are commonly seen gathered at mud puddles where they lap up important nutrients…

Light transmission through flower petals

I just picked my morning coffee; and walking back the I noticed a tiny white flower shining like a beacon of light. I could not believe my eyes; it looked as if the flower was producing its own light. What was really happening was light was shining on the petals in a strange way. A…

Why is blood red?

Why is blood red? In the mean time, let’s pay attention to the last slide I made (with a little bit of water). I was hoping to image some crawling neutrophils (cells responsible to fight foreign elements that invade our bodies). I setup a time lapse with a drop of blood. I did not notice any…

Crack at a mystery of blood drops 

Why a drop of blood cracks? I don’t usually cook. When I cook, I can’t be stopped. So you can imagine a scenario, where I think I know what I am doing in the kitchen; but I really don’t. This scenario unfolded recently, and in the rush to chop some vegetables, I sliced my hand. Not…

Cough cough 

Do you know how many times you coughed today? Or sneezed.. And the days you don’t feel well or have a sore throat. It’s almost like an involuntary thing we just have to do to keep ourselves functioning well. Remarkably, a cough or sneeze is the very first behavior that ever evolved in multi-cellular animalsYes,…